Metropolitan Policy Program

The Earned Income Tax Credit Series

The Earned Income Tax Credit Series documents the role of the EITC and other provisions in the tax code increasingly play in delivering support to low-income workers and their families, and explores the impact of proposed changes to these policies on low-income taxpayers and their communities. Click here to use the current interactive feature.


REPORTS

A Note on Important Changes to EITC Interactive (PDF)
The latest version of our EITC Interactive application adds Tax Years 2009 and 2010, the most recent years for which detailed data are available. However, this update includes a number of changes that may affect how users interpret and analyze this information. To help users effectively and accurately work with EITC Interactive data, this brief explains what is new in this iteration of the application, and what these changes mean for making comparisons over time and across different sources of IRS data.

Ten Years of the EITC Movement
For over 10 years, concerted efforts across the United States have increased knowledge and awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit and have connected households to the EITC and similar tax credits. This paper explores the EITC's accomplishments and looks forward to gauge the best ways to leverage these achievements.

Responding to the New Geography of Poverty
This report assesses the changing geographic distribution of the low-income population compared to recipients of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) between 1999 and 2007, focusing on trends in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.

Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to Benefit Families and Places
Economic recovery proposals before Congress include tax relief for lower-income working families, including targeted expansions in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). A new Metropolitan Policy Program analysis shows how proposed expansions to the EITC would benefit taxpayers in individual states, metropolitan areas and selected cities around the nation.

Metro Raise: Boosting the Earned Income Tax Credit to Help Metropolitan Workers and Families
Slowed economic growth and rising prices for necessities like food, transportation, and child care threaten to exacerbate the challenges already facing America's low-income workers and their families. The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) could do more to help close the growing gap between stagnant wages and rising prices. "Metro Raise" demonstrates how an expanded and modernized EITC would benefit families and communities in the nation's major metropolitan areas.

Bridging the Gap: Refundable Tax Credits in Metropolitan and Rural America
This report examines the changing distribution of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) recipients across large cites and suburbs, smaller metro areas, and rural communities throughout the country. While taxpayers in large cities and rural areas were the most likely to claim the EITC in 2005, more than one-third of EITC filers lived in the suburbs of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

A Local Ladder for Low-Income Workers: Recent Trends in the Earned Income Tax Credit
From 2000 to 2004, the number and share of taxpayers receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) rose in response to economic challenges. Increases were largest in the suburbs of the nation's largest metropolitan areas, which today contain 2.4 million more EITC recipients than central cities.

Stimulating Local Economies with the EITC
Local and regional leaders across the U.S. have come to view the EITC as a critical investment in their economies. This paper explores the benefits to families and communities that can result from actions to realize the full potential of the credit.

Delivering a Local EITC
The San Francisco Working Families Credit, puts more money in the pockets of working families living in a high-cost city. This paper tells the story of the credit, now in its second year, explaining how the program worked in its first year of operation and describing lessons learned and best practices for those considering developing a similar program.

The New Safety Net: How the Tax Code Helped Low-Income Working Families During the Early 2000s
In this report, Alan Berube examines how receipt of the Earned Income Tax Credit expanded nationwide from 2000 to 2003 in response to a weakened economy.

The Earned Income Tax Credit at Age 30: What We Know
This research brief by Steve Holt reviews the structure and history of the EITC, summarizing key research into the people and places it affects as well as its impact on important socioeconomic measures.

Step in the Right Direction: Recent Declines in Refund Loan Usage Among Low-Income Taxpayers
Examining trends in the usage of refund anticipation loans (RALs) among taxayers who receive the EITC, this analysis finds that fewer EITC recipients used RALs in tax year 2002 than 2001, but that rates remain very high in cities throughout the southern U.S.


COMMENTARY

The Importance of the EITC to Urban Economies
Local and regional leaders across the U.S. have come to view the EITC as a critical investment in their economies. This paper explores the benefits to families and communities that can result from actions to realize the full potential of the credit.

Using IRS Data in Tax Outreach Campaigns
In this presentation at the National Community Tax Coalition annual conference, Alan Berube discusses the Brookings interactive tax data website, and how local coalitions can use the data to measure, target, and expand the services they provide to lower-income taxpayers.

San Francisco Delivers a Local Earned Income Tax Credit
by Alan Berube and Clare Winterton
(op-ed) National League of Cities, 6/26/2006

The Earned Income Tax Credit at Age 30: An Overview
In this presentation to the European Union Labour Counsellors, Alan Berube discusses how the EITC works, whom it benefits, what effects it has on work and poverty, and what issues surround the credit as it enters its 31st year.

The Potential Value of IRS Data for State/Local Analysis
In this presentation to KIDS COUNT grantees, Alan Berube discusses the potential value of using IRS data to describe changing state and local economic conditions and the well-being of children and families.